Courage under fire

So much on my mind, from the baptism service over the weekend to ‘looking ahead’ to Thanksgiving.  Yes this weekend was incredibly powerful, and rich with moments reminding me of the redemptive spirit but also that being real is messy.  Really living takes courage, it takes energy, it takes dedication and life isn’t to be done alone.  Thank you God for how you breathe life into us and guide us, taking a back seat and letting us rise and fall, waiting patiently for us never abandoning or forsaking us.  Great is Your faithfulness.

So Thanksgiving, ready or not here it comes.  For some of us it will be spent apart from family.  It can be a time of joy, of sadness, of anxiety.  In other words, it sounds like any other day but with a lot more emphasis and pomp.  My prayer for each of you is that it can be a time of peace.  I know I know, I can almost read the emails back *you don’t understand my family*, or *I’m tired of being reminded of the pain* or *you don’t understand being alone*.  I think you’d be surprised what I understand, and while our circumstances are likely different, I understand or I want to.  Wherever we find ourselves on Thanksgiving, I pray that the Holy Spirit washes over you with an overwhelming sense of peace.  I pray that you can step out of bed without lingering fear, without doubt over the day ahead, without painful loneliness, without a sense of dread.  I pray that you feel love, feel acceptance, feel lifted up, feel appreciated for the gift you are.  We are all miracles with air breathed into our lungs by a Father that adores us like none-other.  I pray that you can find connection whether it’s with another, or with God.  You are worthy of connections, you deserve them in their purest form.  You are good.  You are loved.

If you find yourself struggling, I’m available.  My cell phone is on and it would bring me joy to hear your voice wherever you find yourself.  Trust me, in a span of 5 minutes I can loathe myself and love myself, bring it on.

I’m going to leave you with a poem I’ve heard the past few years around this time.  It’s simple, it’s powerful and speaks in plain terms some of the things that we have been developing as a group.  Authenticity.  What happens when we step out from behind the curtain and expose our own *Great and Powerful Oz*?  Because at the end of the day what you drive, what you wear or anything else trivial doesn’t mean a darn thing.  I know to our Father all that doesn’t impress Him.  What get’s His attention is who you are and how you live.  May we all live a life that speaks to being true to what matters, to authenticity, to taking the great commission and loving everyone always along the way.

The invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Grace, peace and love

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